The Tales of Isale Eko Business: Exploring the Rich History of Lagos’ Oldest District


Isale Eko, the historic district of Lagos, is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and traditions. One of the oldest parts of Lagos, Isale Eko, which translates to “bottom of Lagos” in Yoruba, was founded by Awori migrants about 650 years ago. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Isale Eko, the Isale Eko breed, and the rough business nature of the district.

History of Isale Eko

Isale Eko was originally inhabited by the Aworis, who were farmers and fishermen. The area later became a trading hub for the Portuguese, who arrived in the 15th century, followed by the Dutch and the British. The district experienced its golden era during the 19th and early 20th centuries when it was the hub of local commerce. The area was the center of Lagos Island until 1906 when the colonial government moved its administration to Ikoyi.

Isale Eko has a rich history that is full of tales and legends. One of the most famous tales is the story of Eyo Festival, which is held every year in Lagos.

The festival is a celebration of Lagos’s rich cultural heritage and is a time for people to come together and celebrate. The festival is known for its colorful masquerades, which are meant to represent the spirits of the ancestors.

The Isale Eko Breed

The people of Isale Eko are known for their resilience, entrepreneurial spirit, and cultural heritage. The Isale Eko breed is a term used to describe the district’s residents who are predominantly Muslim and are renowned for their business acumen, adaptability, and hard work.

The Rough Business Nature of the District

Isale Eko is known for its rough business nature, which is characterized by high competitiveness, fast deal-making, and a get-rich-quick culture. The district’s people are resourceful and seek to make profits through creative and unconventional means. Despite the challenges posed by poverty, poor infrastructure, and lack of job opportunities, the people of Isale Eko continue to thrive and flourish. Isale Eko is a unique blend of old and new, tradition and modernity. It is home to some of the oldest businesses in Lagos, many of which have been in operation for generations.

One of the most famous businesses in Isale Eko is the Idumota Market, which is the largest market in Lagos. It is known for its bustling atmosphere and the variety of goods that can be found there, from textiles to electronics. Its food culture is also thriving, with several street food vendors selling delicious local delicacies.

Adaptation to the Digital Age

As the world became more digitalized, the people of Isale Eko adapted to new technologies and business models. They have embraced e-commerce, and many small businesses in the area now have an online presence, selling their wares to customers across the world.

The Lagos State government has also invested heavily in developing the digital infrastructure of Isale Eko, including providing free Wi-Fi in public places and developing a smart city plan. This has helped many local businesses reach a wider audience and grow their customer base.


Isale Eko is a district in Lagos with a rich history and cultural heritage. The Isale Eko breed is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit, adaptability, and hard work, while the district’s rough business nature is characterized by high competitiveness, fast deal-making, and a get-rich-quick culture. Despite the challenges faced by its residents, the district continues to thrive and flourish.

In conclusion, Isale Eko is a fascinating part of Lagos, rich in history and culture, and deserving of exploration by anyone with an interest in the city’s past and present.

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